Amazon Significant Seven, September 2007: When pictures of thatched huts set ablaze by U.S. troops were beamed to stateside TVs, the Zippo lighter became a symbol of the escalating Vietnam War and America's increasing uneasiness with her mission there. But the lighters were often much more than that to the soldiers; they were talismans and tokens of personal expression, engraved with statements ranging from the profane to the obscene to the just plain hopeful:
- When God open[ed] the gates of hell, the 101st walked out
- Death is my business and business has been good
- If you think sex is exciting, try incoming
- Never again
- I love you mom
Lavishly illustrated and startlingly frank, Vietnam Zippos: American Soldiers' Engravings and Stories (1965-1973)
is an insightful and gut-wrenching look into the thoughts of the young men who carried them. --Jon Foro
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"[Vietnam Zippos] documents what the author, Sherry Buchanan, calls 'amulets and talismans bringing the keeper invulnerability, good luck and protection against evil.' Sadly, these personalized mementos also served as last testaments for many who were killed in action. . . . . This book, well designed and photographed by Misha Anikst, offers a rare personal dimension. The mottoes on these lighters, like 'When I die I will go to heaven because I spent my time in hell,' provide candid insight into what these soldiers thought of the war." -- Steven Heller "New York Times Book Review"